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Premium Member
1980 450SL; 1984 500SEC Euro; 1991 560 SEC
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I have searched and not found a reference to this. My center console burlwood must be replaced. I have several pieces that I have acquired through parts cars and one perfect piece I bought when a complete newbie not understanding the many switch variations.

My question is the perfect piece that I have is missing two switch openings. Has anyone cut switch openings into a piece and was it successful? I worry it could cause delamination around the area I cut.

Any help as always appreciated.
 

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Registered
'82 Euro 500SEL, '85 Euro 500SEC AMG WB Cabriolet,'86 Euro 500SEC RUF
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9,487 Posts
Dave,
FWIW I think I would end up botching the hole cutting, so I would not even try.

If this is for the seat heater switches, why not move them to the coin tray, much easier and will look good as you have updated the interior to Gen II. Coin trays with switches can be found in the yards. Or if need be,much easier to find the coin tray piece or cut an existing one.

Second thought, send the original console wood to Madeira and have it refinished and maybe send the new one to be cut. If anyone would know how and be able to pull it off it would be Madeira Concepts.

In the meantime use switches in the coin tray. I you acquire a coin tray with the switches, just unplug the original switches and tape up the connectors and leave them under the new wood. you can splice off the leads to wire up the switches in the coin tray. That way when the original js restored or one like it is found, your switch wiring and connectors are still in place and you just need to do away with the splices and the switch/coin tray. Just a couple ideas.
 

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Premium Member
1980 450SL; 1984 500SEC Euro; 1991 560 SEC
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Charlie,
Thanks I do have a coin tray with switches and was going to do that but of course the connectors would not reach, and I had not thought of splicing. Brilliant, thank you!
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Are you talking about the black plastic switch holders on the back side of the wood? What switches are you missing?

They can be cut out, but you will need to make a jig and use a baby router like on a Dremel tool.
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,137 Posts
Some gen2 cars had those switches in the coin tray anyway to start with. Will the wires not be teased enough to reach there?
Trouble is the looms can get really sticky and gummy on the outside so it stops them being pulled out easily.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Are you talking about cutting into the burlwood? Or the coin tray? I've done the coin tray before. I needed two extra switches. One for the front and rear camera select, and one for the Roller Shade. So I made a jig by copying one of the switch holes, and then used my Dremel moto tool and ground it out.

I did not have to mess with the switch backing plate to add the two. For some reason, my factory coin tray had five switch holders on the backside. So once I routed out the hole, the switch popped right in.

Can you post a pic of what you want to do? I know Madera can add additional cutouts and add the backing plates. Short of that, unless you refinish your wood yourself, I think you will get splintering and cracking on the wood. Unless you have Dentist like skills.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
I have a couple of those if you need some to experiment on.
 

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Premium Member
1980 450SL; 1984 500SEC Euro; 1991 560 SEC
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yes what Steve showed is what I need to get to.

Below is my existing and a replacement piece I could cut. If I find myself feeling a little crazed.
 

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Premium Member
2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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9,992 Posts
Do you even have a coin cup with switches? I would move them there if you don't care about the OEM look. It's easy to get a 2 slot coin tray. I prolly have a couple. Just move them up there.

I wouldn't cut that one. Let madera refinish your old one, or do the coin tray.
 

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Premium Member
1980 450SL; 1984 500SEC Euro; 1991 560 SEC
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345 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Mike,
Yes I have a two and a three switch coin tray. So I agree that is the way to go. Also discovered another one like my original that has all the tabs and is in decent shape to send to maderia if I do not like how the new set up works.

Thanks again everyone!
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,519 Posts
Having worked on trying to remove the thick clear lacquer on a center console I think that it would be almost impossible to cut holes without cracking the lacquer. It is very brittle with age. Putting new veneer on your existing console is not expensive. You can use paper backed veneer and 2 part glue (not contact). The only trick is replicating the mirror finish with the lacquer.
 

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Registered
1984 300CD, 1983 240TD Euro
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2,652 Posts
It can be done, but it takes time and patience. I added these two center switches to one and the extra one to another on these 123 pieces. I used a small drill press, Dremel and small flat and round files.

EDIT: Let me just add that one slip and the piece is trash.
 

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Premium Member
1983 380SL, 2000 S430, 1991 420SEL (retired) - RHD
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5,519 Posts
You are right- patience is needed. The sedan lacquer would not be as sunburnt as in a convertible, so it would not be as brittle. I have not done my 126 yet.I did redo a burl console on a 107 and the lacquer on burl is thicker than Zebrano, but that may be good or bad for this job.
 
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